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Many small farms are now offering home delivery for a number of sustainable and responsibly-raised products
More people are opting to have farm-fresh foods delivered directly to their door.
Farm-to-table eating just got a whole lot easier, thanks to your local milkman.
Those who want to add fresh, local, hormone-free milk to their diet can have it delivered to their doorstep; many creameries across the country now offer good old fashioned, home-delivery service. Though the practice of having milk delivered has become less popular over the past 5 decades, it looks as though the trend is, once again, on the rise. The USDA has yet to release statistics on dairy home-delivery, but individual farms claim to provide this service to thousands of customers on a regular basis. South Mountain creamery in Maryland, for example, has seen more than a 600% increase in home-delivered milk since 2001.
For many consumers, the drive to know where their food comes from and source it responsibly originates from growing concerns about sustainability and the healthfulness of the foods provided by our industrial agricultural system. Sarah, a Siberia Farms customer from Bangor, Maine says, "I wanted to feel better about what I was giving my family." She cites concerns about animal welfare and food additives like hormones as her initial reasons for purchasing from Siberia Farms.
Sarah receives pasteurized, hormone-free milk along with cage-free eggs and grass-fed beef. Her purchases reflect a larger trend that is taking shape across the country; many small farms are working to make a variety of wholesome, responsibly-sourced foods convenient for all. Many of these farms offer home delivery service for eggs, cheese, meat, poultry, pork, and dairy, and some offer the service for organic fruits and vegetables and homemade preserves as well.
Only one question remains: what will we call the twenty-first century milkman?
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal's Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.
In Times of Uncertainty, Shelf-Stable, Vegan Foods Make Consumers Feel a Little More Secure
So many facets of our lives have dramatically changed since the start of this year, not least of all being our foodways. Covid-19 has disrupted supply chains in virtually every industry, a number of products have faced shortages throughout this past spring and summer, and consumers have to mitigate the health risk of something as simple as entering a grocery store.
Suffice it to say, this year has forced us all to be a little bit more conscientious when it comes to feeding ourselves and our families. Part of our arsenal, perhaps surprisingly, has been a well-stocked pantry. Even affluent households, given product shortages, experienced a kind of food insecurity &ndash many for the first time. Shelf-stable pantry items came to the rescue for many a dinner as Americans began exchanging their recipes, tips, and tricks for using canned and dried goods in tasty and novel ways.
Strawberry Charlotte, 1947
Food is like cinema. Just as there are no new stories, there are no new flavors. But flavors can always be framed in surprising ways — the salt and pepper that find their way into ice cream at Humphry Slocombe in San Francisco the melon that is a bedfellow to razor-clam risotto at Corton in New York.
When Christina Tosi, the pastry chef at Momofuku Milk Bar in Manhattan, was tasked with bringing a strawberry charlotte recipe — a firm, chiffonlike mousse set in a fanciful mold — that appeared in The Times in the 1940s into the 21st century, she didn’t race to the Greenmarket to seek out an obscure herb or berry or try making the charlotte into a drinkable soup. She came back with a dessert rife with one of her signature flavors: cornflakes. (For Tosi, the cereal has flavored soft-serve ice cream, organic milk and marshmallow-chocolate-chip cookies.)
In this dish, Tosi’s cornflakes were steeped in milk for a nostalgic cereal-milk flavor, then whipped up with cream and gelatin into a mousse. The mousse was molded, as a nod to the charlotte, and paired with a strawberry panna cotta. Because few modern desserts are complete without some crunchy element, Tosi echoed the cereal flavor by toasting cornflakes coated with powdered-milk butter, creating a crumble for sprinkling on top of the strawberry-and-cereal-milk mold. (It's less complicated to make than it sounds.) She said the original recipe reminded her of a cross between medieval desserts and Betty Crocker. And you could say the same about her version, a hive of detail featuring accessible commercial ingredients.
Tosi used Tristar strawberries, a variety with a concentrated sweetness, as well as brown sugar in the mousse to add richness and powdered milk in the crumble to help caramelize and glaze the cornflakes. It’s a battle of intensities, whereas the strawberry charlotte is a meditation on subtlety — a cloud of cream, sugar and a smattering of crushed berries.
Strawberry charlotte belongs to the indulgent family of charlottes, made with whipped cream and egg whites (apple charlotte, which belongs to the other, more healthful family, is a baked mold of bread and sweetened apples). Attributed to Carême, the well-known 19th-century chef, mousselike charlottes were held together with gelatin and often set in molds lined with ladyfingers. The strawberry charlotte that appeared in The Times forgoes the ladyfingers the result is a lot like a bouncy whipped panna cotta. In fact, if you poured it into smaller molds, you’d never know it came from 1947.
Protecting employees when it matters most
Along with the dwell time already baked into the system, Loop says it's taking additional steps to keep employees safe. All employees who can work from home are doing so, but those working in Loop's cleaning facilities and logistics warehouses — where products are packed into reusable totes and shipped — are essential to keep the company's supply chain running.
For these employees, "we have really vigorous health and safety protocols in place," Crawford said, which include providing adequate healthcare coverage and protective equipment for every person and ensuring social distancing while at work.
If a confirmed coronavirus case or exposure is reported at any of Loop's facilities, the company is ready with protocols to ensure product quarantine, standardization and evaluation of all staff. "Luckily we haven't needed to undergo any of these processes, but we do have all of these policies in place," she told us.
Store Founder Pleads Guilty in Fraud Case
Stew Leonard Sr., the Connecticut milkman who parlayed a hardworking, aw-shucks image into a sprawling dairy bazaar that has won acclaim as a paragon of American entrepreneurial spirit, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to defraud the Federal Government of taxes on more than $17 million.
The plea came nearly two years after Federal agents raided his store in nearby Norwalk, Stew Leonard's, and seized cartons of files and computer records. Mr. Leonard and three senior executives admitted in Federal Court here that they had engaged in a sophisticated, decade-long scheme to skim money from the store's sales -- an operation that included computers programmed to hide cash discrepancies and bags of cash stashed in hiding places.
As part of his plea, Mr. Leonard, 63, agreed to pay $15 million in taxes, penalties and interest on the skimmed receipts. Mr. Leonard's lawyer, James F. Neal, said Mr. Leonard has been in semi-retirement and the guilty pleas would not affect the company's operations. A Connecticut Institution
Mr. Leonard's store on Route 1 in Norwalk -- he opened another in Danbury in 1991 -- is a Connecticut institution. It is a major employer, a Fairfield County tourist attraction and even drew the attention of the White House: President Reagan gave Mr. Leonard a Presidential Award for Entrepreneurial Achievement.
Mr. Leonard, the company's chief executive and chairman, was widely admired in business circles for his devotion to customer service and his genius at self-promotion.
By recognizing that he could shatter the tedium of grocery shopping with a petting zoo, free samples and a menagerie of people dressed as friendly farm animals, Mr. Leonard transformed a small farm into a massive store that sells 10 million quarts of milk and 8 million ears of corn a year.
But court papers filed by the Government today presented a jarring portrait of behind-the-scenes activities at the store. Prosecutors said that after cash from retail sales was tallied and placed in sealed bank deposit bags, the executives regularly removed money for their personal use. They also devised a computer program that altered the company's records so that auditors would not discover the discrepancies.
In order to take more money, Mr. Leonard even began requiring that customers buying gift certificates pay in cash, the Government said. From 1981 to 1991, more than $17 million in cash was taken, much of which was smuggled abroad, court papers said. It was unclear if, or on what, the money was spent.
The Government said that slightly less than $7 million in taxes should have been paid on the money.
Under the plea-bargaining deal announced today, prosecutors dropped all but one of the charges against Mr. Leonard and the three executives. The four entered guilty pleas before Judge Peter Dorsey to the remaining conspiracy charge, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The three executives are Frank H. Guthman, 52, the company's executive vice president Stephen F. Guthman, 59, another executive vice president, and Tiberio (Barry) Belardinelli, 74, its general manager. All four were released on $10,000 bond, and their next court date is set for Oct. 20. The Guthmans are Mr. Leonard's brothers-in-law. Grim-Faced and Regretful
The normally ebullient Mr. Leonard, who delighted in greeting customers as he roamed the aisles and parking lots of his store, was grim-faced as he left the courthouse today.
"Well, I made a mistake," he told reporters. "I'm very sorry. I have just acknowledged that mistake, and I am prepared to take the consequences."
The authorities apparently began investigating Mr. Leonard after he was stopped in June 1991 by United State Customs agents as he boarded a flight to St. Maarten in the Caribbean, where he has a second home, with $80,000 in cash. He had not filed Government forms that are required when taking that amount of money out of the country, the Government said.
On Aug. 9, 1991, Federal agents raided the company's offices and Frank Guthman's home, seizing cash, records and the computer program, which the Mr. Leonard and the three executives called "Equity." The program was discovered in a hollowed-out copy of "The Business Directory of New England."
Michael Dreiblatt, a senior I.R.S. official, said the investigation of Mr. Leonard was the largest criminal tax case in the history of Connecticut. And he said it was largest such case in the history of the country in which a computer was an integral part of the conspiracy.
"This was a crime of the 21st century," he said. "The fraud was committed with a computer and the computer, in turn, convicted the criminals."
Stew Leonard's has become something of a business mecca in recent years, luring executives from companies like Wendy's, Wal-Mart and Marriott who want to see how it generates nearly $100 million a year in sales.
Customers are so loyal that in interviews this afternoon, some refused to accept that Mr. Leonard had knowingly broken the law. Shock and Disbelief
"I just can't believe he was aware of what was going on," said Lisa Penick of Newtown, as she loaded white plastic bags with the green and orange Stew Leonard's logo into her car. "With all his success, he just wouldn't have any reason to do something illegal to make more money. It just doesn't make sense."
Others said they were shocked and disappointed.
"I'm surprised because he's done so much for the community, for the children and for the old people," said James Hughes, 74, of Greenwich. "But I guess greed gets everyone eventually -- even him."
Connie Ignatuk of Stamford shook her head as she carried groceries to her car. "I just can't imagine why did it when he had so much and his store was so popular," she said, adding that she has shopped at Stew Leonard's for 18 years and wouldn't stop now. "Only he can answer why he did such a terrible thing."
The 21st Century Milkman
Dawn Arnold is a picker for Internet grocer Webvan Group Inc.. Her job: To assemble customer orders from about 4,000 products that rotate on giant carousels. Within minutes, Arnold can pluck everything from aspirin to relish for 16 orders simultaneously. What&aposs more, she doesn&apost need some crumpled-up grocery list to know what to select. Webvan&aposs computer system tells her exactly what to do.
It&aposs a logistical wonder that no other online grocer, let alone a supermarket chain, has yet approached. The company has combined the Web with old-fashioned delivery knowhow borrowed from FedEx Corp. to revive the beloved milkman of yesteryear--and then some. The result is the delivery of perishable and dry goods to customers&apos homes within a 30-minute window chosen by the customer. "Building this capability was no small feat," boasts Webvan CEO George T. Shaheen.
At the heart of Webvan&aposs gameplan are sleek, 30,000-square-meter distribution centers, which serve the same number of customers as 18 grocery stores. The centers contain 7 km of conveyor belts and temperature-sensitive rooms for products such as ice cream. Totes carrying customer orders travel along the conveyor belts to wherever selected products reside. Once an order is complete, it is loaded into a refrigerated truck, taken to stations throughout a city, and delivered to the customer. Webvan has more than Wheaties in its sights: It also wants to offer other services, such as dry cleaning. But that will present new challenges--like how to keep dirty clothes separate from food items. Now, that&aposs one for the logistical wonder.
Dairy to Doorstep: Milk Delivery for the 21st Century
I love milk. From an ice cold glass to stinky cheese to fresh whipped cream, you name a form of dairy and I’ll drool. So the idea of a milkman tiptoeing up to my doorstep to deliver my daily dairy is delightful… and not as rare as one may think. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 1963 29.7% of milk distribution was home delivery (as opposed to store bought), but by 2005 this sank to a mere 0.4%. Your doorstep can welcome you home with a bounty of milk (and/or groceries) after a long day (or for stay-at-home parents or professionals you can avoid the madness of a crowded grocery store).
Now, let’s talk ecology for a moment… The cherry on top is that in dairy delivery instances the bottles are rinsed then put out for the milkman to collect and reuse, saving the planet from single-use milk containers. Not to mention the fact that instead of trucks taking the milk to a store then everyone in your neighborhood driving separately to get milk at the store, it is one truck taking it directly from the farm to your neighborhood during non-peak driving times (less idling in traffic). If you think I’m making this up, read the Popular Science article by Francie Diep from April 2013. It doesn’t hurt either that it prevents the temptation of the junk food aisle!
Connecticut Studies Milk Delivery by Bressler, Jr. and MacLeod from The Journal of Marketing, Vol. 12, No. 2 (October 1947), pp. 211-219
Got Milk? Yes, At My Doorstep by Shivani Vora from The Wall Street Journal (October 29, 2009)
From Cow to Kitchen: An Overview of Milk Delivery in New Hampshire, a PowerPoint that is sure to make you want milk, cookies, and an episode of The Donna Reed Show.
Resource and Environmental Profile Analysis of Polyethylene Milk Containers, Conclusions were reached regarding the total energy and environmentalimpacts for equivalent delivery of 1,000 gallons of milk in high- density.
If you share this, please credit/link back to me please: http://evinok.net/?p=4668
I compiled the following list of dairies and dairy-affiliated service businesses (including organic farmers and grocers) that offer doorstep milk delivery. It is divided by country (United States, Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, and the rest of the world) and region (U.S. – Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific) and within region listed alphabetically.
CLICK ON THE DAIRY OR BUSINESS NAME TO VISIT THEIR WEBSITE (IF AVAILABLE).
United States – Eastern
Includes: CT, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MA, MD, MI, MN,
MO, NC, NJ, NY, PA, RI, TN, VA, WI.
Calder Dairy & Farm (Michigan counties: Monroe, Wayne, Washtenaw, and southern Oakland)
Farm to Home Milk (Asheville, NC – 28801, 28802, 28803, 28804, 28805, 28806, 28715, 28787)
13 Offbeat Ancient Recipes from Around the World
Die-hard foodies, rejoice! Thanks to the fact that humans have loved to write about food since, well, we invented writing, there are collections around the world of ancient recipes. Long before all the 21st-century trends in gastronomy, pretty much all food was farm to table. But in the undemocratic ways of old societies, the most elaborate dishes were usually those prepared for rulers and warlords.
Although archaeologists and linguistic experts have found evidence of recipes—or at least methods to prepare food—dating back thousands of years, most cookbooks are more recent (but still centuries-old) inventions, particularly in areas of the world without a long written history. Combined with ideas of globalization in food production and consumption, these modern cookbooks, according to anthropologist Arjun Appadurai, “belong to the humble literature of complex civilizations. They reflect the boundaries of edibility and the structure of domestic ideology.”
Following are 13 recipes gathered from different times, places, and cultures to give you a taste of some of the more offbeat meals (and one toothpaste) from the past.
1. HUMAN STEW (AZTECS, 17TH CENTURY CE OLMEC, 7TH CENTURY BCE)
Sure, the Aztecs are best known for their xocoatl recipe—a chocolate drink that impressed European explorers. Less well known, though, is that they occasionally ate human flesh. In a 1629 treatise on “heathen superstitions,” Spaniard Hernando Ruiz de Alarcón wrote about tlacatlaolli, or human stew. He notes that they cook the corn side-dish first and put a bit of the meat on it. The meat itself was curiously devoid of chiles and only seasoned with salt. There is archaeological evidence of human barbecue associated with the much earlier Olmec civilization as well. When archaeologists noticed the odd yellow color of the bones, they analyzed them and found that they had been cooked at low heat with annatto, or pipián, or chilis. Although cannibalism is a worldwide phenomenon that people engage in for a variety of reasons, some of our earliest evidence of “recipes” with human as a choice ingredient comes from Mesoamerica.
2. PIG VULVA SAUSAGE WITH HERBS AND PINE NUTS (ROMANS, 4th CENTURY CE)
From the cookbook of Apicius, a 4th-century CE text that represents recipes from numerous elite cooks passed down through the years, comes vulvulae botelli. To make this dish, you mix pepper, cumin, leek, roux, and pine nuts, and add it to what was considered a great delicacy in ancient times: pig vulva. Stuff that mixture into a sausage casing, boil in broth, and serve with dill and more leeks.
3. BLACK SOUP (SPARTANS, 1st MILLENIUM BCE)
Although no official recipe exists for this, Spartan warriors were known to eat melas zomos. To make it, combine pork, salt, vinegar … and lots of blood. Ancient writers joked that this was a pitiful diet but also thought it made the Spartans brave. Black soup was served with figs and cheese.
4. STEWED GUINEA PIG WITH HOT PEPPERS AND FLOWERS (INCAS, 17th CENTURY CE)
Eating roast guinea pig (cuy) goes back at least 5000 years to the ancestors of the Incas. The site of Machu Picchu revealed guinea pig teeth in caves, suggesting that cuy was eaten during funeral rituals.Cuy has been also found mummified with human burials, and the creatures are even depicted on ancient pottery. Although several recipes for cuy can be found today, it’s hard to pinpoint the oldest recipe. Jesuit scholar and traveler Bernabé Cobo wrote in the 17th century that cuys were stuffed with hot peppers and river pebbles, and sometimes mint and marigold, then turned into a stew called carapulcra.
5. FERMENTED SHARK (VIKINGS, 9TH CENTURY CE)
Still consumed today in Iceland, hakarl is fermented shark meat. A big problem with shark meat is that it contains cyanide, and needs to be cured in order not to be poisonous. Although fish are more commonly cured and preserved through a salting process, the story goes that there was not enough wood in early Iceland to boil water to make enough salt. Sharks are mentioned in the Icelandic sagas (written in the 13th–14th centuries about the origins of the country in the 9th–10th centuries), and hakarl became popular by the 14th century. The recipe is not complicated: Bury the shark meat in the ground near the shore until the meat becomes squishy … kinda like how you can make moonshine from peaches. Hakarl is often eaten while drinking Brennivin, a strong Icelandic liquor.
6. POACHED PARTRIDGE IN A BREAD BOWL WITH SPLEEN BROTH (BABYLONIANS, 2ND MILLENNIUM BCE)
The oldest cookbook ever found is a three-piece clay tablet dating to about 1750 BCE—the time of Hammurabi—and is in Akkadian. The tablet contains 40 recipes written in cuneiform script, most of which have just a few ingredients but complicated instructions. In short, to make partridges, you would remove the head and feet, then clean the birds inside and out. To a pot, add milk, fat, rue, leek, garlic, and onions, along with the birds. After poaching, make a soft dough with grain and more leeks, onions, and garlic, and split it in two. Place one disk on the cooking plate, then the bird, then bake in the oven. Serve with a bread disk on top of the partridge-in-a-bread-bowl. And if you want an accompaniment, perhaps try some spleen broth, which consists mostly of water, fat, salted spleen, and milk, to which you can add bits of bread, onions, mint, leek, and blood.
7. ROAST GRUBS AND CRABS (INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS, BEFORE THE 19TH CENTURY CE)
In the late 19th century, European colonists in Australia began writing cookbooks. Most of these mainly included recipes that were “antipodean” takes on northern hemisphere food with local ingredients substituted. But a few included recipes learned from indigenous Australians, which were passed down through oral tradition. In an 1895 cookbook, author Mina Rawson notes that many colonists are disgusted by the idea of eating white wood grubs (wood-eating moth larvae) favored by the locals, but she compares the soft morsels to oysters. Rawson recommends parching them on a flat stone over a fire. And in a later cookbook, a recipe for nyoka (crabs) is written down based on indigenous tradition. The crabs are roasted over the fire. When they turn from green to orange, they're done. Interestingly, nyoka traditionally were forbidden for women during their monthly period, lest someone get bitten by a snake or eaten by a shark.
8. BLUE CORN PANCAKE COOKED WITH SHEEP SPINAL CORD (HOPI, 16TH CENTURY CE)
The Hopi of North America are fairly well known for piki, a blue corn pancake. The tradition of eating piki goes back at least 500 years. One recipe recorded by anthropologists after interviewing the Hopi is as follows: Place a thin layer of blue cornmeal, ash, and water on a hot, flat stone that has been greased with sheep spinal cord, and put it over a fire created from juniper and cedar wood. Because piki takes a long time to make from scratch, its creation is seen as an art, and the food is often used ceremonially. For a contemporary take on the recipe, try this one out.
9. MULTIGRAIN BREAD COOKED OVER HUMAN FECES (ISRAELITES, 6TH CENTURY BCE)
This recipe for a multigrain bread with a twist comes from the Old Testament, Ezekiel 4:12. For this, you would put wheat, barley, beans, millet, and lentils in a storage jar and make bread from the mixture. But the key part of this biblical bread is that you have to bake it—while people are watching—over a fire made with human feces. Oh, and you’re supposed to eat it while lying on your side. Chances are that the so-called Ezekiel bread you can find in some modern grocery stores was not cooked according to historical tradition. Here’s a modern take on it.
10. PORPOISE PORRIDGE (ENGLISH, 14TH CENTURY CE)
One of the earliest English language cookbooks is The Forme of Cury, compiled in Middle English by a chef to King Richard II. The digitized version of the cookbook was put online a few years ago and has Medieval gems such as furmente with porpeys—porridge of porpoise. To make this, grind wheat in a mortar, then wash and boil it with almond milk until thick. Put the porpoise in a dish with hot water or, if it’s salted, serve as is. Add saffron to the porridge and serve along with the poached or salted porpoise. Mmm, tastes like pig-fish (which is what the Latin origin of porpoise literally means).
11. CAMEL STEW WITH FERMENTED BREAD SAUCE AND ASPARAGUS VIAGRA (ABBASID CALIPHATE, 10TH CENTURY CE)
In the 10th century, Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq compiled the earliest known Arabic language cookbook, which was presumably used to cook for the caliphs, or ruling elite. One of the many recipes is for camel stew prepared with binn, a sauce made from fermented bread. To make this dish, cut the camel meat into strips, including the hump. Cook the meat, minus the hump, in a pot over the fire until the moisture evaporates. Then add crushed onion, salt, and the hump. Fry and season with vinegar, black pepper, coriander, caraway, fennel, and binn. The fermented bread sauce is pretty easy to make: You leave out bread until it gets good and moldy, then mix with water for a tasty sauce. As a bonus, the cookbook includes instructions for making medicinal foods, like asparagus, in such a way that they enhance sexual intercourse. For this one, boil the asparagus, and season with olive oil and fermented sauce. Then make an accompanying drink of the asparagus liquid, honey, cilantro, rue, aniseed, and black pepper.
12. SWEET-SALTY RAT WITH FRAGRANT RICE AND CURRY (INDIAN, 12TH CENTURY CE)
South Indian king Someshvara III wrote down in Sanskrit a text called the Manasollasa in the early 12th century CE. In this large volume, the king explains everything from politics to astronomy to food. The Manasollasa, while not specifically a cookbook, provides us some of the earliest evidence of what Indian cooking was like before the introduction of New World chilis. The book contains an interesting recipe for black rats. To prepare, fry in hot oil until the hair is removed. Wash, then cut open the stomach, cooking the innards with gooseberries and salt. Sprinkle the cooked rat with more salt, and serve with yellow curry and cumin-scented rice.
13. MINT, PEPPER, AND IRIS TOOTHPASTE (EGYPTIAN, 4TH CENTURY CE)
Don't forget to brush your teeth after an adventurous meal. The ancient Egyptians didn’t write down their recipes, or perhaps the recipes didn’t survive events like the fire in the Library of Alexandria. But since the Medieval shorthand for recipe—℞—survives into modern times in the form of prescriptions, here’s an old Egyptian recipe for toothpaste. You’ll need one drachma of rock salt (1/100 oz.), two drachmas of mint, one drachma of dried iris flower, and 20 grains of pepper, crushed and mixed together. This recipe was found written in ink on papyrus among documents in the basement of a museum in Vienna in 2003. While the formula has been called “pungent,” it is at least a considerable improvement over the Romans’ use of urine.
If you end up trying any of these offbeat ancient recipes, let us know in the comments!
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Webvan 2.0: Louis Borders Takes Another Stab at Delivery
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Louis Borders is not one to give up. The man has weathered two dramatic roller coasters, but he&aposs ready to embark on his third with Home Delivery Services. This time, though he&aposs hoping for a happier ending.
You may recognize Borders for his bookstore chain, which ceased operations in 2011. Or you may recognize him from his dot-com flameout Webvan, which pioneered the idea of grocery delivery before going public and, shortly after, crashing.
This time around, though, Borders thinks he has the winning formula in his reincarnation of Webvan: Home Delivery Services.
Nowadays we have ample choices for delivery services -- there&aposs Seamless, Grubhub (GRUB) - Get Report , Postmates, Instacart, Google (GOOG) - Get Report Express, Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report Prime Now, Delivery.com, Uber, Groupon (GRPN) - Get Report -- the list goes on and on. But Borders believes that nobody has gotten grocery delivery right just yet, and HDS is just the solution the industry needs.
HDS will function as an online mall or department store for retailers.
"It&aposs a much more elegant shopping experience," Borders said in an interview.
For $99 a year, consumers will be able to purchase groceries and general merchandise and have it delivered straight to their door. Borders envisions HDS becoming the 21st century milkman, where consumers have a weekly delivery and can add products to their carts (or remove them) up until 5 hours before delivery time. Consumers will also be able to pay an additional $10 to get a rush delivery in an hour.
Though the service is unlikely to launch until the second half of 2016, per Borders, it has already signed on Toyota Motor (TM) - Get Report ਊs its first major partner.
On Wednesday, HDS announced that Toyota had agreed to pay $2 million up front in exchange for being able to use the back-end technology behind the delivery service to help automate Toyota&aposs own manufacturing facilities. That back-end infrastructure, dubbed RoboFulfillment System, is not yet ready to deploy. Once it is, companies like Toyota will be able to pay $20 million per installation. (Toyota may need 30 installations, said Borders.)
As opposed to the traditional route of raising funding from investors and venture capital firms, Borders has decided to fund his company solely based on partnerships like these so that he doesn&apost have to give away any equity in the company.
"This will allow us to attract more talent because we&aposll have more stock for the team," he said. It also provides the company with advisers and experts at Toyota that can help throughout the process.
Borders compares the RoboFulfillment System to Amazon Web Services, explaining that it will both serve the company&aposs core business of grocery delivery and provide additional revenue from outside partners.
"It&aposs been incredibly complimentary to their core business," he said. "Having these different companies funding and sponsoring infrastructure is making our core business much stronger."
The other factor that&aposs significantly helping HDS&aposs core business is patience. Reports of Borders&apos new company surfaced back in April 2014, and the service won&apost launch for at least another year. Borders is taking his time building the back-end infrastructure and signing on partners and retailers. Unlike Webvan, HDS is in no rush to scale.
"After the IPO, the dot-com bubble burst, and [Webvan] continued rapid scaling, which was a recipe for disaster," Borders said. Things are different this time around. "Instead of getting out to market quickly, we took a long time to design this thing."
Just because Borders is taking things more slowly with HDS doesn&apost mean that he doesn&apost have grand visions for the company. He wants to open up 30 facilities within five years and predicts $200 million in annual revenue per facility, which would yield $6 billion in annual revenue by 2020.